Good news ... a declaration from the CDF about the invalidity of a baptismal formula being used by some nutters somewhere. (Where? Anybody know? It would also be interesting to know the seminary decades of the nutful clergy involved.)
Good news, because it indicates, to my way of thinking, that the CDF is still in competent hands. Soon after the start of this pontificate, I expressed a fear that PF might hand over the CDF to his Argentine crony "Gimme a Kiss" Fernandez. I was wrong. I hope and pray that I will continue to be totally, completely, wrong, for as long as it takes. It means something, even in the darkest of days, that the CDF (and the CDWDS) is headed by somebody who is uncompromised by heterodoxy.
The baptismal formula now condemned as invalid starts off by saying "In the name of ..." and then mentions the parents, godparents, and, indeed, everybody and anybody else who might be upset not to be listed; and finally it says " ... we baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".
The Decree has the usual CDF guarantee that the Roman Pontiff has approved it and ordered it to be published. It makes very clear that those invalidly "baptised" by the use of this formula must be identified and baptised (absolutely; not conditionally).
A devilish paradox, isn't it ... some barmy priestling gets the idea that he will mess around with the formula so as to make it "more inclusive" (or whatever his motive was).
By means of this brilliant idea, the poor fool renders Baptism, the Church's liminal Sacrament ... invalid! His lordship the Bishop of Stupidland will now have to tell Father Nutcase that he must get in touch with the families of all those whom he has non-baptised, and shamefacedly explain why they've got to bring baby back in order to ... er .... actually be baptised. And matters are probably much worse even than that. Fashionable fads have the capacity to spread like wildfire (Holy Water stoups filled with sand during Lent?). Fr Nutcase will pretty certainly have boasted to all his gullible clerical friends about his megafantastic idea, and the dafter among them will, like the dumb and impressionable sheep they are, have copied him. BaaaHaaa. So we probably have an invalid-baptism pandemic spreading like Coronavirus throughout Stupidland and its adjacent areas.
And Fr Nutcase may, mendaciously, have entered into his baptismal register an assertion that he baptised A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, and N according to the rites of the Catholic Church. Granted that he conscientiously attempts to rectify the situation with regard to every single one of those he has so cleverly, so inventively, so trendily, non-baptised, can we be sure of his 100% success? If not, imagine that one of these, in 25 years' time, is approaching Ordination. A certificate of Baptism based upon an untruthful register signed by a barmy priest could result in an unbaptised Ordinandus being non-ordained to the priesthood. And, later, consecrated to the lordly ranks of the non-Episcopate.
To baptise validly is so simple that, after a few minutes' coaching, a five-year-old could do it. It beggars belief that even a stupid man can spend seven years in a seminary and emerge from that expensive process unable to be relied upon to baptise validly.
It is not difficult to understand why Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre took the line he did.
I haven't always felt sure that he was right to push matters to a breaking point in 1988.
I was wrong. Now I know better. The Novus Ordo Church and its bishops indeed could not then be trusted to form priests. When we Ordinariate clergy spent time in Allen Hall (and what a privilege it was to be allowed to share in such an august heritage) the then Rector alluded to the decades when all had not been well in that place. I wonder if, even now, some areas of corruption still persist in the seminary world. How much time did they devote to Sacramental Theology in their seminal explorations at the Theodore Cardinal McCarrick Beach Academy?
We do not need clever priests, or clever bishops, or even clever popes, half as much as we need clerics who are humble enough ... and clever enough ... not to be clever.
I've just had an alternative idea. Fr Nutcase is a sedevacantist agent, part of a huge network maintained world-wide by Pan Cekada. Having smuggled invalidity into the Catholic Church and its ministry, they will keep careful records and eventually ... etc. etc.. Am I right?